Just an additional note regarding a skein of 170 Pink-footed Goose flying over Runcorn docks at 08.30 on 05.10.20.
Back to today and a dash down to No.6 tank after work and after a day of sunshine (for a change). A look over the water revealed a flock of c100 Black-tailed Godwit, they didn’t linger for long, and 90% of them departed to the Mersey Estuary. A smallish flock of 35 Northern Lapwing included 4 Ruff and 2 Common Snipe.
A huge number of Canada Goose came in from the surrounding area and eventually tallied c2000 birds. More geese were joining the super skein on the open water and were presumably settling on the tank for the evening. Their flock size made things quite cramp for the other waterflowl and several flocks of Northern Shover and Northern Pintail were forced to flight around the area until the Canada’s settled enough for the ducks to find some open water to dabble on and in.
Despite relishing in the beauty of these wild creatures (albeit orginating from introduced stock by the landed gentry 300 years ago) someone was shooting at the geese from a field by a public footpath, injurying two of the birds.
Observer: WSM (video).
A female Western Marsh Harrier was spotted by Phil Barker.
I paid a vist to Ince after work and the field at the start of the track has flooded, the recent three out four days worth of rain attracted an impressive 46 Little Egret, 2 Great Egret, a single Eurasian Curlew, 2 Mute Swan and the usual ducks. A Common Chiffchaff was contact calling along the lane and now represents the sound of autumn.
On the Frodsham Score salt marsh were Canada Goose and a flock of grazing Pink-footed Goose with a flock of c300 Northern Lapwing and c20 European Golden Plover amongst them.
All records from No.6 tank: 2700 Canada Goose, 620 Black-headed Gull, c30 Common Gull, 370 Northern Lapwing, 12 Little Grebe, 1 Little Egret, 1 Peregrine, 5 Common Pochard, c170 Northern Shoveler, 30 Mallard, c160 Eurasian Teal and 145 Tufted Duck.
I was out this morning starting my birding walk at Ince where several Little Egret were dotted about the ponds and fields. There were two birds feeding amongst the cattle which got my hopes up, but were only Little Egret. A Great Egret passed overhead and was later seen preening near to the pool by the screen hide. A selection of Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall and Northern Shoveler were all,present in decent numbers; a pair of Mute Swan were also noted. A Common Kingfisher was heard and then seen speeding along the ditch.
On next to the Manchester Ship Canal path from which small flocks of Northern Pintail were seen flying over Frodsham Score salt marsh and a couple were on the canal with a mixed flock of Mallard and Gadwall. Three more Great Egret were seen with several Little Egret feeding in the tidal channels.
There were 4-5 Brent Goose with the Canada Goose.
A mass of geese were seen feeding in the stubble fields alongside the Holpool Gutter where c700 Pink-footed Goose were with Mallard and Northern Pintail feeding with them, a separate flock of several hundred Canada Goose were at the other end of the field and contained 3 Barnacle Goose and some Greylag Goose. A flock of c50 Eurasian Curlew and a handful of Black-tailed Godwit were foraging alongside them.
A Peregrine flew over scattering a flock of Rook, Carrion Crow and Western Jackdaw.The ‘splashing pool’ held a few more Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall and 5 Little Grebe, while the ‘phalarope pool’ held just a few Northern Lapwing and a single Black-tailed Godwit, 4 European Stonechat were on a fence on No.3 tank with a large charm of European Goldfinch and Meadow Pipit nearby. Several Eurasian Skylark were moving about the area. The Mute Swan pair with their 2 remaining cygnets had the canal pools to themselves. Back at my start and a flock of c40 Barn Swallow and several House Martin were busy feeding up in the warm sunshine.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-8).
A quick look across No.6 tank revealed all of the ducks and godwits sheltering in the south-west corner of the (now) flooded pool. An impressive tightly packed flock of c2000 Black-tailed Godwit. The Northern Shoveler flock reached c150 birds with 125 Tufted Duck and 11 Common Pochard. A Merlin zipped through No.3 tank per Jacqui & Idris Roberts.
We took a long stog out to the western end of the marshes with a look over the rising and falling tide out on the mighty Mersey Estuary. The big flocks of Pink-footed Goose that Paul had seen earlier were hiding from my view point but smaller skeins flew in and landed on Frodsham Score where a couple of Barnacle Goose were busy munching the swathy grass. Several smallish flocks of Eurasian Wigeon were on the edge of the tide and salt marsh. Shorebirds were displaced from the refuelling activity and Dunlin were making impressive swirling flocks. A flock of c30 Eurasian Oystercatcher with 42 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and 100’s of Eurasian Curlew. Watching from the sidelines was an immature Peregrine with a Western Marsh Harrier flushing things from the rogh grass and a Common Buzzard bothered by the young Peregrine.
A damp walk around No.6 tank this morning where good numbers of wildfowl were present with Northern Shoveler beinf the most numerous duck species, followed by Eurasian Teal, Mallard and Gadwall. There were smaller numbers of Common Pochard, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon and Northern Pintail noted.
A flock of c700 Black-tailed Godwit were resting in the shallows with a few Common Redshank amongst them.
Walking along Lordship Lane and c1000 Canada Goose were feeding on the stubble fields with a flock of 40 Black-tailed Godwit dropping down to feed with them. Also seen were c30 Common Snipe while 3 Pink-footed Goose passed overhead, but didn’t join them. Several hundred gulls and Eurasian Starling tried to settle with them with the snipe but were spooked by light phase Common Buzzard and a pair of Sparrowhawk hunting in the area.
A flock of c25 Barn Swallow were hawking over No.6 and a female European Stonechat was on the bank where Linnet, European Goldfinch and Western Reed Bunting were numerous.
An afternoon visit to No.6 tank produced 2 juvenile Ruff, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit with an unspeified amount of Black-tailed Godwit in the water replenished No.6 tank after the rain of yesterday.
Observer: Mark (Whipper) Gibson.
A short walk along Brook Furlong Lane, the Manchester Ship Canal and RiverWeaver this afternoon. A charm of c100 European Goldfinch were feeding close to Marsh Farm and a flock of c20 Meadow Pipit were spooked by a Common Kestrel but they settled quickly.
Further out on the Mersey Estuary and more Black-tailed Godwit and Eurasian Curlews fed on the exposed mud, but not in any great numbers. Two military planes flew side by side just low enough for me to get a good view of the cockpit and flew on towards the airport, both pilots visible as they passed overhead.
The Weaver Estuary was also quiet with just a few Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall and Tufted Duck being present although a raft of c50 Eurasian Coot and c250 Canada Goose were on the water. The Whooper Swan has teamed up with a Mute Swan and both stayed close together as they moved along the river, a single juvenile Mute Swan was feeding close to the edge of 5 Great Crested Grebe.